Citibank Business Accounts Review 2022: You Can Probably Do Better than This Global Bank

We dug into Citi’s website, new articles about the bank, customer reviews, and more to develop our Citibank review.
Citi
Citi Bank
2.6 out of 5 stars
2.6
  • Checking from $15/mo
  • Check
    Convenient and cost-saving packages
  • Check
    Comprehensive products and services
  • X
    Negative reviews and reputation
  • X
    Very limited availability

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So you think you want a Citibank business account, but you want to make sure you’re making the right choice (after all, that’s your hard-earned business cash you’re talking about). 

Frankly, we suggest taking your banking somewhere else. Citibank is continually caught up in scandals and government action, earns very negative customer reviews, has limited geography, and withholds information about things like interest rates. So while it has lots of banking products (including some packages for specific industries) and a good credit card, you’re better off banking somewhere else.

We’ll cover all that―and more―in this Citibank review so you can make an informed choice.

Pros
Pro Bullet Convenient and cost-saving packages for certain industries
Pro Bullet Comprehensive banking products and services
Pro Bullet Good business credit card options
Cons
Con Bullet Negative reviews and reputation
Con Bullet Very limited availability
Con Bullet Little information about interest rates on bank accounts and loans

Citibank review table of contents

Citibank bank accounts and pricing

You can find options for both business checking and savings at Citibank. The fees on these accounts are pretty competitive with what you’d find at other banks.

Checking accounts

Citibank offers four checking accounts that can work for many kinds of businesses, in addition to a few checking accounts meant for specific industries.

Citibank small-business checking accounts

FeartureCitiBusiness Streamlined Checking AccountCitiBusiness Flexible Checking AccountCitiBusiness Analyzed Checking AccountCitiBusiness Interest Checking Account
Min. opening deposit$1$1$1$1
Monthly fee$15$30$24$30
Monthly fee waivable?Icon Check  DarkIcon Check  DarkIcon Close  DarkIcon Check  Dark
Earns interest?Icon Close  DarkIcon Close  DarkIcon Close  DarkIcon Check  Dark
Free transactions25050025
Free cash deposits$5,000Up to $20,000$0$5,000
In-network ATM fees$0$0$0$0
Open an account

Data effective 11/11/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Despite what the clunky name might lead you to believe, the CitiBusiness Streamlined Checking Account is CitiBank’s most basic checking account—and the best choice for businesses that won’t keep a high minimum balance. It has the lowest monthly fee, and it comes with some (but not a lot of) free transactions and deposits. You can waive the monthly fee if you keep a $5,000 average monthly balance.

The CitiBusiness Flexible Checking Account doubles the amount of free transactions and deposits you get. Of course, the monthly fee is also twice as much as the fee on the Streamlined account (in most states). But if you keep a high enough balance to waive the fee, this is the better deal. Speaking of which, you’ll need an average account balance of $10,000 to waive the monthly service fee on this checking account.

As the name suggests, CitiBusinesss Analyzed Checking is an analyzed checking account, which means you don’t get any freebies. Instead, you get earnings credits based on your account balance. You can use those earnings credits to offset fees, including transaction fees, cash deposit fees, and the monthly maintenance fees. Most analyzed checking accounts work best for businesses with high account balances—and this one is no exception.

The CitiBusiness Interest Checking Account is Citibank’s interest-bearing checking account. Citibank doesn’t list the APY (annual percentage yield) on this account, so we’re not sure how much you’ll earn. Note that this account doesn’t give you many free transactions or cash deposits. If you don’t need constant access to all your money, you might be better off with a cheaper checking account and a business savings account. But if you want frequent access and to earn interest, this account will do the trick.

Pricetag
Need a business debit card?
Each CitiBusiness checking account above comes with a free debit card.

The accounts above are versatile enough to work for most types of businesses, but Citibank also has a few specialized checking accounts:

  • Escrow accounts
  • IOLTAs, IOLAs, and IOTAs
  • Deposit Administrator accounts
  • Security Deposit Administrator accounts

These accounts comply with state regulations, so you won’t have to worry about getting in trouble because of your business banking.

Savings accounts

Citibank gives you three different options for business savings. Which one you choose will probably depend on how—and if—you need to use your money.

Citibank small-business savings accounts

FeatureCitiBusiness Insured Money Market AccountCitiBusiness Savings AccountCitiBusiness Certificates of Deposit
Min. opening deposit$1$1$1
Monthly maintenance fee$10$10N/A
APYUnlistedUnlistedUnlisted
Transaction allowed6 per period6 per periodN/A
Can write checks?Icon Check  DarkIcon Close  DarkIcon Close  Dark
Open an account

Data effective 11/11/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

The CitiBusiness Insured Money Market Account and CitiBusiness Savings Account appear pretty similar: they share the same minimum deposit and monthly service fee, and both limit your access to your money to a handful of transactions each month.

One big difference? CitiBusiness Savings doesn’t let you write checks, while the money market account does.

Another key difference is the interest rates. The simple savings account has a fixed rate, regardless of your account balance. The money market account, on the other hand, gives you a higher interest rate if you maintain a higher account balance. Of course, Citibank doesn’t publish the rates on its business accounts, so we can’t tell you exactly what those rates will be. (But based on the rates for its personal accounts, we don’t imagine they’re high-yield savings.)

Then there’s CitiBusiness Certificates of Deposit. Like pretty much all certificates of deposit (CDs), these don’t give you any access to your money until your term is up. As a rule, CDs generally have higher interest rates than other types of savings accounts. But again, Citibank doesn’t list business account rates, so we can’t confirm that in this case.

Bullhorn
All about business savings accounts

Want to learn more about how savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit compare? Check out our guide to the types of business savings accounts.

Citibank features

There’s a good chance your business needs more than just a checking account and a savings account. You might also need things like merchant services, a credit card, or a business loan (all of which we'll talk about toward the end of this page).

If that describes you, and you work in certain industries, then Citibank has some packages just for you. These packages give you discounts on various Citibank products.

For example, the CitiBusiness Solutions for HealthCare Professionals account package waives the monthly maintenance fee on a checking account, gives you a discount on merchant services, gets you better APY on a money market account, reduces the fees on a term loan—and more.

The CitiBusiness Solutions for Legal Professionals account package, on the other hand, gives you unlimited sub-accounts for your IOLTA or IOLA account, unlimited free wires on your IOLTA or IOLA, and a free check scanner (among other things).

If you don’t qualify for one of Citibank’s industry-specific packages, you can still get CitiBusiness Preferred Banking. Like other solutions, it gives you better rates and discounts on certain products and services, making it a good choice if your business uses Citibank for many things.

So if your business plans require more than just a business bank account, an account package might be worthwhile. Sure, you’re still banking with Citibank, and we don’t recommend that—but at least you’re getting a good deal while doing so.

Citibank vs. competitor banks

Now that you know a fair bit about Citibank, let’s discuss how it compares to other banks.

Citibank vs. other banks for business

Bank
Monthly fee (checking)
Bank type
Availability
Get a bank account
CitibankFrom $15/mo.Traditional9 states
Bank of AmericaFrom $16/mo.Traditional37 states
BlueVine$0/mo.OnlineAll states
Kabbage$0/mo.OnlineAll states
Wells FargoFrom $10/mo.Traditional36 states

Data effective 11/11/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

For starters, Citibank is much less widely available than other big-name traditional banks―not to mention online banks that offer nationwide service.

Citibank also sits toward the more expensive end of the banking spectrum, with starting account fees above just about all online banks and plenty of traditional banks too. 

That said, Citibank does offer many more products and services than online banks do, though it’s on par with other traditional banks.

The biggest difference between Citibank and its competitors? It has much bigger drawbacks you need to know about.

Citibank drawbacks

As we’ve already mentioned, we dislike a lot of things about Citibank.

It’s not widely available, its pricing is fine but not amazing—oh, and it’s another scandal-riffic big bank facing government action.

What kinds of scandals and government action, you ask? You know, just overcharging customers, misleading loan borrowers, deceptive marketing and overbilling—stuff like that.

So yeah, we’re pretty skeptical of Citibank from the get-go. Why trust your business’s money with a bank that’s shown it can’t be trusted?

But there’s also that fact that Citibank only operates in nine states (plus the District of Columbia).

US map of states where Citibank is available, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, and Virginia

Citibank availability

And when we say it’s in those states, we really mean it’s in very specific large cities in those states. It’s not called Citibank for nothing. So unless your business is in a major metropolitan area, Citibank probably won’t work for you. (Don’t worry—you’re not missing much.)

Location
Citibank alternatives

Citibank not going to work for you? Find the best bank in your state instead (or the best online banks for small business, if that’s more your thing).

But it’s not just us who dislike Citibank. Its own customers really, really dislike Citi.

Citibank customer reviews

Customers don’t have the best opinion of Citibank. It has low scores on Trustpilot, earning a 1.9 as Citi.com, a 1.4 as Citibank, and a 1.4 as Citibank National Association (all out of 5).1, 2, 3 And while its Bank Branch Locator score is higher, at 2.7 out of 5, it’s still not great.4

Reviewers complain about a wide variety of things:

  • Unhelpful branch staff
  • Poor customer service over the phone
  • Difficulty reaching customer service in the first place
  • High/unexplained fees
  • Broken software/website
  • Inadequate response to fraud
  • Improper credit reporting
  • Failure to honor credit card rewards
  • Racism from staff

The few positive reviews we saw praise the helpful fraud department and the helpful customer service. So it is possible to have a good experience with Citibank—just unlikely.

Megaphone
Our experience
We tried contacting Citibank to verify some information for this review. Unfortunately, its online chat is only for customers—and so are its phone lines. We were unable to get ahold of a real person, and every attempt ended with a recorded message telling us to visit a local Citibank branch.

Citibank also has the distinction of getting an F from the Better Business Bureau.5The reasons? Well, there’s that government action we mentioned, as well as Citibank’s “[f]ailure to respond to . . . complaints filed against business” and the number of “complaints filed against business that were not resolved.”

In other words, not only are customers mad at Citibank (which is true of most banks), but Citibank doesn’t seem to even be trying to do anything about it.

So if all these reviews are anything to go by, you’re not going to have the best time with Citibank. We really suggest you take your business banking somewhere else.

Other small-business products and services from Citibank

If, despite everything we’ve just told you, you’re still interested in banking with Citi, we have good news: Citibank’s got a few more business products up its proverbial sleeves. Let’s dig into those.

Small-business financing

If you need working capital or cash flow for your business, Citibank has a few types of financing that can help, including business lines of credit, term loans, and commercial real estate loans.

Compare Citibank’s small-business lending

Loan
Min./max. loan size
Type
Lowest listed APR
Get a Loan

Business Credit Account

$10,000/$250,000Line of creditUnlisted

Business Installment Loan

$5,000/$5 millionTerm loanUnlisted

Commercial Mortgage

$250,000/$5 millionCommercial real estate loanUnlisted

Healthcare Acquisition Financing

$250,000/$5 millionFinancing packageUnlisted

Relationship Ready Credit

$250,000/$5 millionLine of creditUnlisted

Data effective 11/11/21. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Unfortunately, Citibank provides absolutely no information about any of these financing products, so it’s hard to compare them to what you can get from other banks and alternative lenders.

In most cases, traditional banks like Citibank have competitive, low rates. They also tend to have high application requirements, though, so you’ll need a great credit score and high revenue to qualify.

Megaphone
How financial institutions compare

Learn more about typical application requirements in our comparison of traditional banks vs. alternative lenders.

Small-business credit cards

Citibank offers two business credit cards.

First up is the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Credit Card (what a mouthful). As the too-long name suggests, this card earns you travel miles on your purchases. So if you’re the jet-setting type and American Airlines is your airline of choice, this card was made for you. It has a $99 annual fee, but your first 12 months are free.

If you’re less into travel and more into buying stuff in bulk, consider the Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card By Citi. (One of our picks for the best small-business credit cards.) This card is exclusively for Costco members, and it lets you earn cash back on your purchases (not just at Costco). This card has no annual fee—unless you count the cost of your Costco membership.

Megaphone
CitiBusiness ThankYou credit card

You might have heard about Citi ThankYou Rewards—Citibank’s loyalty rewards program. At one point, Citibank offered a CitiBusiness ThankYou credit card account, but as far as we can tell, that offer has expired. Sorry.

Miscellaneous

And finally, Citibank offers a few more products and services for business customers:

  • Invoicing and payments
  • Merchant services
  • Payroll management
  • Wire transfers and ACH payments
  • Overdraft protection
  • Account and check reconciliation

The takeaway

We’ve given you the details on its deposit accounts and other products—now you have to decide for yourself whether Citibank is the right financial institution for you.

On the one hand, you can get convenient packages that give you discounted banking. And even if you don’t opt for one of its packages, Citi does offer a decent number of banking options―plus one of our favorite credit cards.

On the other hand, you’re getting that from a bank with a pretty bad reputation and a history of scandals―not to mention truly terrible customer reviews.

Is it worth the trade-off? That’s up to you.

Ready to consider opening a business account somewhere else? Check out our rankings of the best banks for small business.

Related reading

Methodology

We looked at a number of resources to create our Citibank review, including its own website, news articles about Citi, Trustpilot customer reviews, and more. We also tried to contact Citi directly (though that didn’t work out). We scored Citibank on factors like its account options, availability across the nation, banking fees, and more―and we added a penalty to its final score to account for continual government action and ongoing scandals.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

    1. Trustpilot, “Citi.” Accessed November 11, 2021.
    2. Trustpilot, “Citibank.” Accessed November 11, 2021.
    3. Trustpilot, “Citibank National Association.” Accessed November 11, 2021.
    4. Bank Branch Locator, “Citibank.” Accessed November 11, 2021.
    5. Better Business Bureau, “Citi.” Accessed November 11, 2021.
Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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